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“Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change."
O! what a tuneful wonder hath the past
1 Somn Scip. c.v.
Into the ripening present, and the hope
And full oft
They come! the children of the North. They come ! The blue-eyed riders of the rolling surge, War cradled sons of Odin. The far north Flashes the sky into a crimson war, And ice-bound winds are loosed; and far and wide ? With open beak, the horrid bird of death, Flapping ill omens from his demon wings, Flies onward, onward; incantations weird Sweep all the waters, and mysterious spells, Dark hellish words engraven on their swords, Vow fierce libations to the battle-god. Wake! France awake! where is the mighty arm That kept so well the fatal mountain pass ? Where is the spirit of thy Charlemagne ? The death-storm that his wisdom saw arise, A little cloud bedimming his bright end, Sweeps down upon thee-up and arm-pour out The torrent of thy chivalry_flash all The stirring music of thy minstrelsies, Shake out the folded honour of thy flag To the wild battle breeze.
Ah no! his throne, Who drew the Cæsars' glory from their tombs,
2 The standard of the Norwegian vikingr was of white silk, with the figure of a raven, with open beak and outstretched claws. They were acoustomed to engrave runes or charms on their swords and oars.